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UK Digital Industry Job Growth Falls to Lowest in Decade

An office worker sits at a desk in view of Tower Bridge in the offices of Arcadis NV in London, U.K. on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. Photographer: Jason Alden (Jason Alden/Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- Job growth in the UK’s digital industry hit its lowest in a decade, prompting the incoming Labour government to pledge to revive the sector as it seeks to stimulate growth.

The number of jobs in the sector grew by just 0.3% last year — the lowest since a decline of 0.1% in 2013, according to Office for National Statistics data released on Thursday. Wider employment across the whole UK economy grew more than twice as fast, the data showed.

The figures may stoke concerns of a stagnation in the UK tech sector, as employment and earnings stalled in the sector. Digital sector employees – including programmers and tech consultants – saw their hourly pay rise by just over 1% between 2022 and 2023, equating to a pay fall in real terms, the data showed. Nevertheless, the UK’s new Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Peter Kyle, promised to revitalize the sector. 

“The UK has a vibrant digital economy, but its potential has not been fully explored,” Kyle, in the job for less than a week after Labour’s victory in last week’s general election, told Bloomberg in a statement. “This government is determined to change that.”

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